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13.11.2019 Business & Finance

2020 Budget: Free Zones Board Boss Worried Tight Tax Exemption Could Scare Investors

By News Desk
2020 Budget: Free Zones Board Boss Worried Tight Tax Exemption Could Scare Investors
NOV 13, 2019 BUSINESS & FINANCE

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA), Michael Okyere Baafi, has warned that any attempt to review Ghana's tax exemption laws to make it tighter could incite investors to leave the country.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has asked the government to use the 2020 budget to review the country's tax exemption system to rake in the needed revenue.

According to the IFS, if the government had cleared some tax waivers in 2017, the country would have realized an increase in revenue to the tune of 500 million cedis in 2018.

But speaking on Citi TV's Face to Face on Tuesday, the Free Zones CEO cautioned that Ghana's tax exemption laws are not favourable to Foreign Direct Investments, hence any move to further tighten it will be unfriendly to businesses.

“In Ghana, a free zone's company is given a corporate tax exemption of 25% for ten years and after ten years you pay 15% in Ghana. In Cote d'Ivoire, they are given the same period but after that, they pay only 1% whereas Ghana is paying 15% after the regime.”

“In Cote d'Ivoire, they are given lands for free to set up their free zones somehow because they pay something very small, which we don't do here. So looking at the exemption regime in Africa, I know Ghana's free zones tax exemption regime is not the best as far as the content is concerned,” he said.

---citinewsroom

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